Thursday, November 11, 2010

Business Model **Updated 10 minutes after posting**

I've been writing a business model for Publishing Genius as part of an application for a program in Baltimore called "Operation: Storefront." The end result of this application is, if I am accepted, a storefront provided by the city in downtown Baltimore, which I will use as an office and a small press reading room (which I define [informally here] as a couple of bookshelves with books I like on it, kind of like a permanent spot for the Vouched thing, but the purpose of the reading room is more for fun and an active office than for sales) and a space for people to have events at if they want.

I want to say that the reason I am applying for Operation: Storefront is because my life has changed in that come Jan 1 I will no longer have a job at the financial company where I've been working for the past 4+ years, which has been a great company to work for and I've learned a lot from it and they've given me money and an education, but now I don't know what's next, and I'm kind of dragging my feet on every decision. I know I don't want to do the same kind of work I've been doing, though I think I love corporate America and cube farms and regular schedules and $$ and corporate ethics and oversight. But when I die I would be sad that that it is what I did. So I would like to give being a professor a chance but everyone is always like IMPOSSIBLE and I suspect that universities are these evil places with college students running around talking all the time and more importantly, I don't have any teaching experience. So I am thinking it's either the Navy or publishing, and I KNOW I like publishing but there's a chance I won't like being in the Navy. So if I can get this Operation: Storefront grant thing I will have that decision all made for me. Otherwise I will be in the uncomfortable position of making a decision for myself. Faced with making a decision and making a 12-page business model, I've chosen the business model.
**End self-reflective update**

My storefront just be a little thing. But my Business Model is fairly extensive, with Goals and Objectives and Forecasts, and a summary of the market and competition ("Nearly 200,000 books are published every year in the United States, but no single genre is competing against them all. Because sales figures in literary publishing are relatively modest in the first place (Bookscan has reported only 25,000 books selling more than 5,000 copies), Publishing Genius’s competitors—companies like Featherproof, Sator, Wave, Black Ocean—are also one of its resources; in the small press market there is active cross-promotion, so by pricing books within a similar scope, the competition serves to reinforce Publishing Genius as it reinforces the small press culture."). I have an awkward mission statement ("Publishing Genius exists to publish and promote exceptionally well designed and edited books by talented authors with the objective of being a vibrant contributor to public discourse, promoting values of diversity and integrity with a passion for innovation. Selling books is only the beginning of the mission; with interactive projects, we seek to establish a genuine community around literature that entertains, inspires and explores life's profound questions") and a budget (Through Q4 FY 2010: Loss: $23K, Gain: $16K, Current assets: $21K). It's a lot, but it's still a small percentage of what I need to know and it reinforces what I do not know or do.

I might start hiring soon.

In other news, I just ordered the 725th copy of A Jello Horse by author Matthew Simmons. Roar.


r. said...

When you need to hire a fundraiser, come knocking.

Adam R said...

R being Rebekah I assume.

The thing about hiring fundraisers is that, like, I am paying you to make me more money. 2 questions:

1) Can I just hire you right now? Whatever money you raise, you can have 35%. I would like $1,000,000 please.
2) Why don't fundraisers just sit around making money for themselves all the time, if they're so smart?

r. said...

R. is Rebekah.

Yes, but ideally the money the fundraiser brings in more money than they get paid. I sure bring in more than I get paid. Honestly, if you're not a nonprofit, it's kind of moot. Then you need a marketer. I can only kind of do that. I just want to work for you. I think you do good work. But not for no pay.

1. Percentage-based grant contracting is unethical. Legal, but frowned upon. Any "offical" board or decider that knew you were doing percentage-based would frown. I'm happy to do it anyway, whatever.

2. Good question. Perhaps I'm not motivated enough.

Adam R said...

All very interesting. You could fill the Internet with what I don't know.

Thanks for the straight dope.

matthew savoca said...

adam robinson, i support you fully.

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